For future Developer Advocates

Oli M
Oli M
Aug 18 · 3 min read

About three years ago I wrote a blogpost What to ask an interviewer during a tech interview. Since then, I’ve changed my focus a little bit toward developer advocacy. So here I am, preparing a list of questions to ask at my next interview.

Some questions are stolen from Anil Dash’s blog :)

Community questions

· Why do you want a community?

· What do you hope to accomplish with a community?

· Who makes up your community? How do you segment developers? (company size/programming language/service used/OSS vs proprietary/geography/vertical/other)

· Which segment of that community do you want to focus on first?

· Channels to outreach (events & conferences/social media/meetups/content marketing/partnerships/direct 1–1/advertising/pr/other)

· Do you keep in touch with the community to let them know that their feedback resulted in some action?

· How community members can track that their ideas were used to improve the product? Is there a way to award them for that?


Questions are stolen from Anil Dash’s blog

· How do you achieve inclusiveness in your community? Does everyone on the Dev Rel team have the training or support to follow best practices for creating an inclusive community?

· Can everyone on a Dev Rel team and in the community see a clear, visible list of ethical guidelines, and weigh in on changes or revisions to those guidelines?

· Does the community or organization behind the Dev Rel effort have an explicit, defined process for enforcing the guidelines or holding community members accountable for transgressions against them?

· Can Dev Rel professionals identify the community goals around inclusion, and how they connect to the defined business goals for Dev Rel?

Definition of success

· What is a successful Developer advocate in your organization? How do they know if they achieved it?

· Can people across your company define what the DA staff is trying to achieve? Can they define what DA is trying to deliver?

· How do the DAs report their progress?


· Where in the company is the Dev Rel team located? (separate team/engineering/marketing/sales)

· When the marketing team defines its goals, does Dev Rel have a say in helping to shape those goals? Are Dev Rel goals aligned with the timing and intent of marketing’s initiatives?

· Does a Dev Rel team have meetings with the marketing/product/sales team?


· If DA needs additional resources like personnel, budget or tools, is there a structured process for requesting these resources from management? (cameras/video editing tools/streaming tools/etc.). What the approval procedure look like?

· Does the developer relations team have a budget for the tools to measure their progress?

· Does the Dev Rel team have a specific tool to collect feedback from developers, users, and the community?

Scope of Work

· Does Dev Rel have a defined set of boundaries over which tasks the team will or will not do on behalf of the sales/marketing/engineering team?

· Are DA separated from the sales engineering role/solutions architecture roles? Has management ensured that the teams can reach their targets without relying on DA? How the work on the customer base distributed between Das and sales?

Personal improvement and growth

· Does Dev Rel staff have a defined way to request trainings/workshops/ for professional development? What was the most recent about? Who conducted it?

· Does the company encourage DAs attending events to build their own skills and network, not just events designed to reach developers?

· Does the company have a mentoring policy? Do DAs contacts with other DAs outside of your organization? Are DAs allowed to schedule an explicit time for conversation or exchanges with other DAs?

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